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Demonstrators stop neo-Nazi NPD gathering

Leah Carter with DPA
December 22, 2019

Hundreds of protesters blocked the road and blew whistles to prevent NPD supporters from rallying. The members of the far-right party had intended to drive through Eschede with flags, protest signs and a loudspeaker.

Protesters march against the far-right in Eschede
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Stratenschulte

About 650 demonstrators prevented supporters of the extreme-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) from marching in the northwestern German village of Eschede.

Police said demonstrators blocked a road into the village from an estate where several NPD supporters were staying, preventing 10 of them from driving down a road to the village in a van equipped with a loudspeaker.

Read more: Young people drawn to far right in eastern Germany

Public broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk reported that the demonstrators used whistles, banners and chants to deter the NPD members. Police said the event remained peaceful and there were no reports of violence. 

Police estimated that roughly 40 NPD supporters had been staying at the estate for a so-called winter solstice celebration.

Local media reported that the NPD rally had been scheduled in November, and that it was set to take place under the motto, "Eschede's beautiful side — give home and culture a place." The NPD members had reportedly intended to approach Eschede with torches, flags and protest signs.

The counterdemonstration was organized by the Südheide Network against Right-Wing Extremism, the Celle Forum Against Violence and Right-Wing Extremism and the German Trade Union Confederation under the motto "Together against the Nazi meetings in Eschede."

Last month, more than 7,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Hannover to protest another NPD rally. 

Read more: Germany: Thousands demonstrate against right-wing extremist NPD rally

The NPD state association of Lower Saxony reportedly purchased the estate near Eschede in June for the purpose of holding today's rally.

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